From Lord of the Rings to Star Wars, trilogies are a tried and true way to tell an extended story, and it seems a majority of current science fiction and fantasy series follow the rule of three. However, writing a trilogy isn’t quite as simple as following the principle of the three-act structure. We’ll talk about how to set up your novel for trilogy potential and what to do when your publisher says, “We want a trilogy.” We’ll examine lessons from successful and unsuccessful trilogies and consider when a trilogy is and isn’t appropriate for the story you want to tell. We’ll discuss how to plan out a story across three books, how to create satisfying narrative and character arcs within each book as well as over the entire trilogy, and what each book needs to accomplish. And we’ll also cover common pitfalls, how to avoid “second book syndrome,” how to create a sense of epic scale and cover time jumps without losing focus, and more. This class is most appropriate for intermediate to advanced writers. 


This workshop is available to anyone aged 18 or older for a $55 fee.

Unless otherwise stated, all times listed are US Pacific Time.

We offer a limited number of scholarships for each class to Black and Indigenous writers and writers from other marginalized backgrounds on a first come, first served basis. Please email us at workshop@clarionwest.org with a one-paragraph statement about your scholarship interest and/or need. Please include the name of the class you would like to apply the scholarship to.

By participating in any Clarion West activity, you are agreeing to our Code of Conduct, the Clarion West Harassment Policy, and our Zoom Guidelines.

Clarion West will refund all class fees if the request is made 30 days prior to the class date. Refund requests made within 30 days of the class will be honored if we can fill the seat. Any exceptions are subject to approval by our workshop staff.